By Dike Onwuamaeze
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the federal government to save the Nigerian courier industry from stifling and suffocating regulatory regime by expunging some provisions in the guidelines, which were introduced recently by the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST).
The chamber stated that the federal government should expunge the provision in the courier regulation guidelines, which required operators of courier and logistics services to contribute two per cent of their annual revenue to the postal fund.
The fund is meant for postal development and delivery of postal services in rural and underserved areas.
The LCCI expressed reservations concerning the provision, saying it would put too much burden on courier and logistics businesses and make them unsustainable.
It said: “We request that this provision be expunged immediately in the interest of investments and investors in the courier and logistics sector of the Nigerian economy.”
A statement issued yesterday by the Director-General of the LCCI, Dr. Muda Yusuf, and titled: “NIPOST regulatory provisions for courier industry,” also called on the government to remedy the framework that allowed the NIPOST to be a regulator and an operator.
The LCC added that the framework is detrimental to the development of the courier business.
The chamber viewed the framework as inconsistent with global best practice principles of business regulations.
LCCI said its negative consequence had manifested in the provision in the courier regulation that “all courier items/articles such as right issues, shares certificates, statement of accounts, cheques, letters or offer documents, etc., weighing below 0.5 kilogramme brought to a courier/logistics service operator shall be recorded and referred to the nearest post office of the NIPOST for processing and delivery.
“Failure to do so will attract payment to NIPOST of a penalty of 90 per cent of the amount charged on the item by the erring operator,” LCCI said.
It asked the Minster for Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Patami, to immediately expunge it.
The chamber added that another provision in the courier regulation, which vested the minister with powers to compel any licensed courier and logistics services operator to undertake free delivery service for the purpose of Universal Postal Service’s obligations or any social service delivery in the national interest needs to be reviewed because it “borders on overbearing powers with little regard for the interest of investors.”
It added that these provisions would undermine the confidence of investors in the courier and logistics business in the country and negate the efforts of the federal government to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy.